With the 2015 NBA Draft wrapping up recently, Wolverine fans were left feeling excluded for the first time since 2012 on Draft night. Michigan has been well represented in the NBA Draft since 2011 with a total of 6 players being drafted, but with several developments during the 2014-15 season and offseason, no Michigan players were selected in 2015.
This leads to one question. When will Michigan get back in the NBA Draft? There are numerous barometers for any successful basketball program. These include things like the team's record, championships, individual awards earned, and the ability to put players into the next level. Michigan only saw one departure from its 2014-15 when Max Bielfeldt transferred to Indiana, so there shouldn't be any red flags for a failure to appear in the 2015 NBA Draft, but there's no doubt that Michigan will want to start having players with their names called on Draft night again.
Let's take a look at Michigan's potential NBA Draft picks in the upcoming seasons.
Highly Likely Selections
- #1. Caris LeVert
There is no player that is a safer pick out of Ann Arbor to hear his name called on Draft night than LeVert. Not only was LeVert already considered as a legitimate option for the 2015 Draft, but he was projected as a potential 1st Round pick. Right now, DraftExpress has him slated as the #17 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and it would take something major to prevent him from at least being in the 2nd Round next season.
Solid Potential Selections
- #1. Zak Irvin
Entering the 2014-15 season, Irvin looked like not only a player that could be selected on Draft night, but a player with enough upside to move into the 2nd Round and potentially even slide into the 1st Round. However, after a letdown sophomore season, Irvin opted to return for his junior year. He still has a lot to prove to become an option for the 2015 or even the 2016 NBA Draft, but the potential is there and if he can maintain his level of play from late last season, he appears to be in solid position to be drafted.
- #1. Aubrey Dawkins
Perhaps no freshman on Michigan's roster should more potential than Dawkins in 2014-15 and there is a lot to like about his game. If he can add size, improve his handle, and become a more consistent defender, he could be a guy who gets himself into position for the 2015 NBA Draft if things fall right.
- #2. Kameron Chatman
There's no denying that Chatman had an underwhelming debut season in 2014-15, but there are still plenty of reasons why Chatman was the highest rated 4-star in the 2014 recruiting class. Chatman has a unique blend of size, athleticism, and strength that make him a potential NBA prospect. He will have to improve his shot selection and his handle, but it's still all on the table for Chatman.
- #3. Derrick Walton, Jr.
In 2014-15, most of Walton's season was derailed by a lingering foot injury, but he is expected to be back and fully healthy for 2015-16. Walton certainly did not look like a 1st Round pick before his injury, but he definitely looked like a draftable player if he developed further. Walton's size is going to hinder him from getting major NBA status, but if he can play well, he has a chance to slide into the NBA Draft and earn a roster spot.
Overall, it looks like Michigan has plenty of options in the coming years and with Caris LeVert in the fold, are in great position for at least one pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.